One way to copy files to and from a machine is as follows:
To copy from the machine you are on
tar czf - dir1 dir2 dir3 | ssh firstname.lastname@example.org "tar xzf - -C path/for/new/files "
To copy from a remote machine to the machine you are on
ssh email@example.com "cd path/to/dir/you/want ; tar czf - diryouwant1 diryouwant2 " | tar xzf - -C where/it/goes/locally
This has advantages that it does not copy symbolic links. It also compresses the data while copying